Tales of the Urban Explorer: Rakewood Lower Mill

Slobberchops @slobberchops
· July 2019 · 5 min read · United Kingdom

Some places are off the radar and need to be sought out. Rakewood Lower Mill is an example of this and you won’t find it on any of the Urbex UK web sites.


A simple search for certain keywords led me to this mill which has been closed since the 1960s and despite several applications to demolish it, all have failed due to the locals opposing new developments in their area.


The mill is very close to St Hilda’s Church which we visited several weeks before and looked pretty beat up when looking from the overhead view.


As with all these places, you never know what you’re going to get until arrival. We walked around the front to find the place securely boarded up.


What’s more, the boards looked new and fresh and some windows garnished with that concrete that is oh so common. Was this going to be a wasted journey?




The thing is mills are kind of hard to secure due to their size and walking around back revealed very easy access. I often wonder why the owners spend all this money boarding up the front and leave the back completely open.




It was a little dark in the first building we entered via a huge glass-less window and there wasn’t an awful lot in there too see. The staircase looked interesting though a little dangerous.


The top half even more so, so did we turn back in defeat? Of course, not, live a little and risk falling through the wood and injury. Someone had graciously placed these wooden planks here for future visitors and so we climbed up them on to the top floor.




The roof had several holes and the floor a little squashy so I was trying to keep to the edges. Not so @goblinknackers who simply walked to the middle without fear. I swear he’s going to come a cropper one day.



If you don’t count the colourful graffiti, there was little to see up there. Here’s a view of the wooden steps from the top.



When steps look like they about to collapse we have a go at climbing them anyway. The more I do, the more foolhardy I become it seems.




Access to the old part of the mill was blocked with masses of foliage. It wasn't going to stop me however and so armed in my short-sleeved shirt in which nettles gleefully jumped at my arms I proceeded to cut a passage.





As with most mills, huge posts were holding up the roof or what was left of it!




Due to the age of the place and how long it had been empty, we were not really expecting to find much and that was indeed the case.



The lower part of the mill which looked in much better condition was linked with this double iron bar which was once a walkway.


It was a case of walking across this hoping it would not give or climbing down this wall and looking for another way in.

Not keen on the balancing trick I went for the wall. That mountain scrambling practice comes in handy sometimes!


@goblinknackers pondering on the wall. It looks like he’s wearing a gimp mask, but that is not the case. He’s just looking down.




I found another way in but this required the light which I had left in my car. @goblinknackers obliged and went to get it.


Look at that metal bridge. I’m sure it would have collapsed if we would have tried to cross.

A few minutes later I heard sounds and spotted @goblinknackers coming in from a different direction.

Well, that was useful and easier to get back out once we were done.


Using my phone light I walked through the pitch-black part of the mill to where I could rendezvous with him.


This was the old lift shaft. Sometimes they are simply huge holes. Safety is out of the window in these places.


The stairs were a little better here but still tilted to the left. It was best to step on the right side of this one when climbing up.



The top floor was extra squishy especially in the middle and I was feeling my way to the other side of this room.


This is the view from the other side of the balancing rails.


The stairs looked even more ropey from the top but held fast as we descended. Better to not step on the top ones.




The underside of those stairs. It surprises me how strong these old stairs are despite the holes.




As we started toward the exit area we noticed it was a little more modern with rotting partitions. Was this where the offices used to be housed?


Look at these steps. They can't be so old… rather very new, and yet one of them was missing. If this place has been closed since the '60s, well I don't believe it.


A big pipe. There wasn't much left in Rakewood Lower Mill and this is about as good as it gets.



Rural places are always more fun than the ones in cities.


For one they are much easier to access due to lack of prying eyes, and even if they are complete wrecks like this one, there's always something to see and a unique story to tell.



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Great photos! I love urban exploring too and some day, when I least expect it, some random stairs or a squishy floor will be the death of me. Can't wait!

Those fairly new looking stairs, perhaps someone just decided to walk around carrying extra stairs they had and found a good place for them. That's how I always explain these kind of things. People just carry various stuff with them and on some rare occasions, they actually find use for them.

Good to hear from a fellow danger lover.., your in Finland I see, there's things to visit there I guess?

The stairs were fixed one, they had been fitted and not painted and looked really out of place. Even being new looking, one rung had rotted away and we had to jump it.

Yes, I've posted couple of urban exploration posts too. And I've just visited an old shoe factory, took lots of photos there but just can't seem to get a blog post done. Also I'm still pondering about the fact should I reveal it's location or not. Just so that I wouldn't make it easier for every vandal to find it. Although I did find it fairly easy by googleing and inspecting the google map. But when I decide something, I will write about it.

Revealing the location depends on how well known it is and whats inside. Some of these I don't reveal as I would like to preserve whats there. Same with access, unless they are walk in's I don't tend to state how I get inside.

Bozz @bozzJuly 2019

I am actually surprised you got some of the shots you did looking down like that. I would have thought you would be toppling over onto the ground or hyperventilating with your vertigo. Good job! You need to start carrying around a machete for all of those nettles. Plus that way the dope heads or security might not mess with you!

A machete would be handy, though they are kind of hard to buy here. Dangerous weapons and all that....

I only get vertigo when its hundreds of feet, not 10-15. I know I will live, but break a leg.. its all psychological I know.

Bozz @bozzJuly 2019

Hard to come by! They sell them in kids clothing stores here. Right next to the socks. You folks and your silly aversion to dangerous maiming weapons. Ah okay, I didn't realize you were okay with some distances.

You folks and your silly aversion to dangerous maiming weapons.

Well it does keep the murders down. When I lived in Phoenix, I was told there were 20-25 murders every month.. that's a bit much for a Brit.

Bozz @bozzJuly 2019

That seems kind of low. That heat makes people crazy.

Very cool stuff. Really a good find.

I'm glad you chose the wall. Looks to me like the very best part of the walkway is missing. And I wonder if Billiy might have pissed in his post toasties?

It is kind of weird and useless for them to just close up the front entrance and left the back wide open, I guess it stops lazy people lOL, another cool find

Awesome post man. I love abandoned structure photography.

And yes, Billy is a dick ed m8

LOL, he must be... it says on the wall! Thanks for the visit :)

Its a good thing you didn't walk across those iron bar!

Its a real tricky one with the locals, tbh I don't know if I would want new development with increased people and triffic or a derelict old mill which may attract junkies

or a derelict old mill which may attract junkies

Only come across them once, and they were terrified of us! I don't think you would get them here as it's far too rural.

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Wow, @slobberchops, you are very courageous. I probably would not go there for nothing. 😮 I usually bypassing these places of tenth path!!!
I was probably afraid to touch everything that is there, because I'm afraid of rust and glass.
One day, I somehow agree to go with my girlfriends on abandoned. But it was a terrible experience...
That bridge of two rusty pillars seems so interesting. I would definitely like to go through it😅
Upvoted and resteemed

I probably would not go there for nothing

I get to write about it all, so not quite!

I was probably afraid to touch everything that is there, because I'm afraid of rust and glass.

This not for you then, walking on crunching glass is quite normal.

I see you made it to SF3, but I cant remember seeing you. I was there too and will be at SF4. Might see you there.

I see you made it to SF3, but I cant remember seeing you. I was there too and will be at SF4. Might see you there. <

I also do not remember whether I've seen you on SF3.
I still do not know whether I will visit SF4, but if everything is going to happen and I will be able to go, I really wanted to meet you there:)

I recently met your blog, you have interesting posts. And still I like your avatar. Although the description is a little scary: "Professional maniac", "Abuse fighter".

SF3 was a little crazy. I didn't arrive until late day 1 (bad move) and jumped on the coach for bowling without eating anything. While everyone was full, I was starving.. not a good start.

Although the description is a little scary: "Professional maniac", "Abuse fighter".

LOL, I don't look like him it's all a front! I flag (downvote) using @steemflagrewards but not for regular posters like you. There's a lot of abuse on the platform and I try and help clean some of it up.

Why go to Cambodia when you have a local Angkor Wat just nearby?

I cant believe the locals dont want it demoed. Craziness!